The Vote 2010: So you want to be president? (Manny Villar)

The Vote 2010: So you want to be president? (Manny Villar)
The Philippine Star

Manuel Bamba Villar Jr.

Nacionalista Party Campaign slogan: Sipag at tiyaga

Born Dec. 13, 1949 in Moriones, Tondo, Manila

Married to Cynthia Aguilar Villar, Las Piñas representative

One family, three children: Paolo, 33 (chief financial officer, Vista Land owned by the family); Mark, 31 (candidate for Las Piñas representative); Camille, 25 (corporate communications head, Vista Land)

Education: Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Business Administration and Accountancy, University of the Philippines

Elementary: Holy Child Catholic School, graduated 1962

High school: Mapua Institute of Technology, 1966

Father: Manuel Montalban Villar Sr.,  government employee (deceased)

Mother: Curita Bamba, a former fish vendor

State of health: No major surgery; blood pressure taken Feb. 14: 120/80

Takes Lipitor for cholesterol control

Have you ever needed the services of a psychiatrist? No. Never.

State of wealth: $530 million according to Forbes magazine

State of affairs:

How many families do you have? One.

Women and other children: Only one wife. One family. Three children. No complications.

Who are your advisers in economics/business/finance?

I have no one person advising me.

I’ve been a lawmaker since 1992 and I can say that I have a pretty good understanding of our law.

Economic advisers-I have quite a lot. Romy Bernardo, Felix Medalla. I respect Pepe Diokno I read a lot of articles, Fortune, Economist.

Foreign affairs? Lauro Baja. Ambassadors, I talk to them a lot. Garry Laurel.

Security/peace and order, politics, legal matters, media/public  relations, health, education, environment? No one person

Legal advisers: I don’t need them. You consult 100 lawyers, you get 100 answers. Depende na lang sa issue.

Media? Many

Health and Environment: Former health secretary Quasie Romualdez.

Education Marami din naman.

Fashion: Camille. Barber: Ferdinand.

Who is running your campaign? I’m the strategist of my campaign.

How do you intend to repay campaign donors, or recoup your personal investments in your campaign? No need to recoup, my family has enough.

Campaign budget: I will abide by the law

What role will the first lady play in your administration? It’s up to her.

The vice president? Cabinet position

Do you watch pirated DVD movies? I don’t ask if they’re pirated.


Which economic sector would you focus on? Agricultural because only for reasons one 70% of our poor people are in agriculture.

Which sectors should remain protected or subsidized, or liberalized?

In reducing loses we have to work on entities like NFA. I’m not saying I’ll abolish the NFA, I’m just saying that you have to redefine the role of the NFA.

We have liberalized too quickly.

Can we be self sufficient in rice?

I’m very confident that we can be sufficient. Repair the existing irrigation system.

Which country is your model or inspiration for Philippine economic development?

India, China – because Chinese have entrepreneurial sense. I want to develop an entrepreneurial revolution.

Policy on mining and exploitation of natural resources?

For so long as the standard is the same with developed countries, I have no problem.

How do you bring down power cost and boost energy security?

Attract more foreign investments in power. We have to remove the cartel, if there is, and welcome all investors.

Is OFW deployment a problem or a boon? Both at this time. Investments must be lured to create jobs and bring back most of our workers.

Should foreigners own land? No

Will you impodr nre taxes? I will not promise anything

Infrastructure properties: Road interconnection for example NLEX with SLEX

How do you raise revenue? Efficient tax collection. Fight smuggling

Are you in favor of further easing bank secrecy laws to improve fight against money laundering? Just implement the existing laws

Foreign affairs

Which country do you consider as RP’s most important ally? Which country should be a closer ally? Is China a threat, a challenge, a friend? China and US, US and China, it’s a balancing act.

Which country will you visit first?

Saudi Arabia. Ideally, US, but you need an invitation.

Are you going to travel extensively? Hindi masyado.

Should RP strengthen ties with any particular region? ASEAN.

What is your policy toward Myanmar? Will RP be a champion of human rights on the global stage? We can stand for human rights but if you have to strengthen ASEAN you must also respect the views of the other members.

What will RP ties with the US be like under your administration: We have a foreign policy of fear. That should be removed. Whether you are US or China, hindi ako natatakot dyan.

Will you keep US troops in Mindanao? I won’t do anything drastic.


What are your short-term / long-term plans to deal with the kind of flooding brought by Ondoy and Pepeng?

Clear the waterways in entire Metro Manila.Dredging. Relocation.  Plant trees. Reforestation. Tap the NPA to have a plausible working arrangement with them for reforestation. Be results oriented.

What’s your policy on logging/agroforestry?

I will be very, very aggressive in this area. I have planted more than a million trees in my lifetime.It’s a win-win situation because it will generate employment and is the cheapest way of beautifying the countryside.

Your views on climate change?

We are victims here. The developed countries are the ones responsible for this. We have no choice except to participate in the efforts to stop global warming. We can seek carbon credits. We should tap the private sector… address global warming and address our economic problem. I want to be more aggressive on this.

Human rights

How do you stop the murders of left-wing militants/journalists? Modernize our Armed Forces and the PNP, strengthen them so that they can do their jobs and make it clear that we will not be tolerating human rights abuses.

How do you promote respect for human rights in the AFP/PNP? Leadership. The President must be respected by the AFP and the PNP.  The President should also address their concerns. Once you have done that it will be easy for them to understand your instructions.

Should economic rights take precedence over civil liberties? Do we have too much freedom? Is democracy working for RP?

There is no need I don’t see any conflicts on this e. Sa tingin ko, as we improve the lives of our people, as we move economically, much better pa ang protection of civil liberties. Because nag-iimprove na, we will be able to increase the salaries of the police, of the teachers, the salaries of the judges, and modernize our police and etc. On the contrary, complementary sila.

Do we have so much freedom?

Hindi naman. Magulo lang talaga tayo. We thrive in chaos. This all boils down to leadership. That’s why if your leadership is not felt, then either you impose martial law or you explode. A strong leader need not impose martial law to impose order. If there is no natural leadership, you have to buy everybody, you have to buy the local governments with projects, you have to buy the congressman so that you will not be impeached.

Is the RP press irresponsible? Do you feel that you’ve been treated fairly by mass media? Hindi naman.

What’s your stand on the following:

Charter change/shift to parliamentary system

If you’re going to do it now, I’m against it. If you’re going to do it during the next term of the president, I have no problem with it.

If pro, which Cha-cha mode do you prefer?

Well, I’m indifferent whether its constitutional convention or constituent assembly provided it’s done properly. This idea of not including the Senate, I’m against it.

Which provisions need to be revised?

I don’t believe that economic provisions of the constitution are the things stopping the growth of our economy.  We can grow despite these provisions. But if the people want it changed,  amend this constitution, di ako masyadong strong ang feeling.


What is important is the leader. It’s not the system. To me, parliamentary system itself is not bad. Presidential system is not bad. What is important is what the people want.

VFA: Continuing review. No more Daniel Smith cases

Reproductive Health bill: Against it only because I believe it should not be put into law. Bahala na ang tao kung ano gusto nila gawin. I always view population not as a liability. To me, if the country is managed well, in a-competent manner, in fact a big population would be a way in which we could be a great nation.

Right of Reply: Against

Freedom of Information Act: For

Divorce/marriage expiration: Against

Gay rights/gay marriage: Human rights are important but divisive matters are not a priority.

National security

How do you intend to bring peace to Mindanao? Strengthen the Armed Forces. Improve the Human Development Index. Continue the peace process.

What’s your policy toward communist rebels? The problem of the NPA can be solved through economic development.

Is AFP modernization a priority? Yes.

Are you in favor of a fixed term for the AFP chief? A longer term

Are you an adopted member of a PMA class? PMA Class 1977.

How important is US military aid to Philippine national security? With which other countries should RP have closer military alliances?

We have to review this. Are we really getting enough?  At the end of the day, national interest should be are primordial interest.

When the political leadership betrays the public trust, should the military intervene?

Who will define it? There will always be a group of people who will say that the President is violating public trust? We have to be careful about this. As much as possible I would go with the side of stability.

How do you stop corruption in the PNP/AFP? Transparency in public bidding, among others.

Death penalty: Against

Education, culture, arts, sports

What are your priorities in improving the quality of education?

Education needs additional funding.  We go for gold. Universities should compete with the best in the world. Address low literacy rate.

Which particular area will you focus on? Are you in favor of additional years in grade school and high school? Free universal kindergarten? We should add an additional year in grade school.  I will focus on primary education.

How do you improve English proficiency, and how important is it in raising national competitiveness? I agree that English should be made a medium of instruction.

Will arts and culture be a priority in your administration? Yes. To me we are losing our soul. It does not take too much to develop and improve arts and culture in the country.

Sports development: It will be a priority. We must develop competitiveness. We must compete with the world.

Health care

What are your priorities in improving public health care? Health is crying for reforms. Priority should also focus on medicines. Modernize equipment.  Free healthcare to our people.

How do you keep our doctors, nurses and other health professionals home?

Build more hospitals on government land. Doctors should be pulled out of the salary standardization law.

How do you bring down the cost of medicine? Subsidize medicines.


Should SC powers be limited?

Not keen on it. The three branches of government are independent.

What the president did, has been doing, is pinakialaman yung judiciary, pinakialaman ang legislative habang siya ang executive.

Should GMA appoint the next chief justice, and will you respect the appointment?

The next president should appoint the next chief justice. But if President Arroyo does, I will toss it to the Supreme Court.

Corruption: It’s an economic problem

Will you prosecute GMA for corruption? Leave it to the judicial system

Marcos wealth? Finish all the pending cases. Settlement possible. PCGG may have to be abolished.

Karen Ang

A plebeian who is trying to make small changes in this world.